With two days left of the regular season, Atholton looked ready to build a strong playoff push with strong outing against River Hill on Monday and Mt. Hebron Tuesday.
After defeating the Hawks, 56-35, the Raiders traveled to the Vikings – a makeup game of the matchup that was originally scheduled for Feb. 12.
Mt. Hebron and Atholton faced off after the playoff seeding's were already announced, which made for an interesting contest considering the game counted toward each team's overall record, but obviously didn't make a difference for an for any postseason standing.
Mt. Hebron jumped out to an early 20-14 lead, aided by a 14-point first quarter. Kaylee Toth netted two 3-pointers in the period that helped the Vikings jump out to a fast start. However, the Raiders picked up their offense coming out of the halftime break. They were led by the play of junior guard Ryan Jones and senior forward Megan Hart, who combined for nine of Atholton's 14 points in the third quarter.
The Raiders managed to fight back to tie the score at 30-all entering the final eight minutes of action. But in the final period, Mt. Hebron couldn't get its offense going like it had from the start, and ultimately Atholton pulled away by outscoring the Vikings 10-5 in the fourth quarter.
Jones finished with a game-high 17 points, while Hart (7), Meaghan Quinn (5) and Caitlyn Burmester (5), followed offensively for the Raiders.
Junior guard Shane Devine recorded a team-high 10 points for Mt. Hebron, while Toth and Julia Lamparella chipping in with six and four points, respectively.
Atholton 40, Mt. Hebron 35 (Tuesday, Feb. 22)
A (15-4, 17-4): Jones 17, Hart 7, Burmester 5, Quinn 5, Hargrett 4, Bathras 2.
MH (10-9, 11-10): S. Devine 10, Toth 6, Chase 5, Lamparella 4, Rodriguez 3, LeConte 2, Demek 2, M. Devine 2, Schaaf 1.
After picking up their second consecutive loss Monday against Glenelg, the Mustangs ended their regular-season on a winning-note, defeating Hammond Tuesday and picking up their fifth win of the season.
"Great win for us tonight going into playoffs," said coach Caitlin Bay. "Great effort from our girl's on both ends of the floor."
Even though Tuesday's game between the Mustangs and Golden Bears was played after playoff seeding's were posted, the contest was important in terms of gaining some momentum before postseason play. Like Marriotts Ridge, Hammond was suffering through a losing streak as well. After starting off a promising year at 7-7 in county play, the Golden Bears end the regular season on a five-game losing skid, including Tuesday's five-point loss against the Mustangs.
Hammond took a 29-25 advantage into halftime, but Marriotts Ridge, led by the play of Caroline Blalock [team-high 19 points] out-scored the Golden Bears in the second half to get the victory.
Caroline Blalock added four steals and four assists on the night, while Sarah Blalock followed with 13 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals in the game. Hope Morath tallied a double-double for the Mustangs, ending with 10 points and 10 rebounds – including two blocks, while Makenzie Hockensmith chipped in with seven points and nine rebounds.
MR (5-14, 5-15): C. Blalock 19, S. Blalock 13, Morath 10, Hockensmith 7, Stepke 2, Conroy 2, Sullivan 2, Held 1.
The Gladiators showed their veteran resiliency Monday, after taking a tough loss on Feb. 19 against Howard – only the fourth loss suffered by Glenelg all season – they dominated on the floor on their Senior Night, and earned a 26-point victory to end their regular season on a winning note.
"Great win for the seniors tonight," said Glenelg coach Chris Beil, as all three seniors scored in the game, including forward Katie Twigg (two points) who missed the last seven games due to a knee injury. "I was worried about this game because Marriotts Ridge is very athletic and well coached."
The Mustangs got out ahead early, as junior Brianna Held started the game netting three shots from behind the perimeter, kick-starting the Marriotts Ridge offense. But the Gladiators made sure to stay patient and get inside the paint, consistently earning trips to the foul line. Eight of Glenelg's 14 first-quarter points were scored from the charity stripe. The Gladiators finished out the night hitting on an impressive, 17-of-21 from the foul line (81 percent).
The Mustangs couldn't maintain the amount of offensive production they put up in the first quarter. After getting out to a 16-14 advantage after the first eight minutes, Marriotts Ridge combined for just 27 points in the following three quarters – 13 of which was netted through the fourth period.
Meanwhile, the Gladiators got great production from virtually everyone on the roster. Nine players registered at least a basket in the game, while four players hit double-figures by game's end.
Junior Julia Wolfrey led the way for Glenelg, recording a game-high 18 points, followed by senior Chelsea Henggeler (12), senior Miranda Mattis (10) and sophomore Jessica Foster (10).
"Julia played great," Beil added. "Her teammates found her on breaks and she paid them back with an assist."
MR (4-14, 4-15): C. Blalock 9, Held 9, Hockensmith 8, Morath 6, Meininger 4, Conroy 4, S. Blalock 2, Stepke 1.
Mt. Hebron 52, Wilde Lake 20 (Monday, Feb. 22)
It was a tough game for the Wildecats, who walked onto the Vikings floor Monday without their two leading scorers, Rachel Lazris and Brynn Drury.
Without the two seniors, Wilde Lake struggled to keep up with the Vikings, who got all of their active players on the scoreboard in the game.
Mt. Hebron jumped out to a 16-5 advantage after the first eight minutes, then followed up with an 18-point second quarter. At the break, the Vikings led, 34-18.
The bright spot for the Wildecats was senior Mia Macklin, who put up a season-high 13 points in the game, while netting eight in the fourth quarter. Freshman Julianna Bonner followed with six points for Wilde Lake.
Shane Devine led all scorers with 14 points, with senior Peyton LeConte and freshman Maura Devine chipping in with nine and eight points, respectively.
The Vikings also got to the free throw line 21 times in the game, netting 13 attempts, good for 62 percent.
MH (10-8, 11-9): S. Devine 14, LeConte 9, M. Devine 8, Lamparella 6, Rodriguez 6, Demek 4, Toth 4, Schaaf 4, Krell 4, Chase 3, Oliver 3, Williams 2, Davis 1.
WL (1-17, 1-19): Macklin 13, Bonner 6, Perry 4, Teachman 2, Lee 2, Swain 1.